Shop Madalynne 5 Favorite Bra Making Supplies + More
Having the right tools is just as important as having the right fabric and trims. The blush pink metallic stretch mesh in this Barrett bralette kit and this Raquel bralette kit is gorgeous – so soft, the lightest shade of pink, and just enough sheen to make it special – but without Odif’s 505 spray adhesive, which is my secret weapon in almost all my sewing – it’s a b**ch to sew. No really, the biggest b**ch you’ve ever met. Because no one sees or knows about your supplies when a project is finished, it’s easy to skimp in order to save a few bucks here and there. I promise you though that these tools are what makes or breaks my lingerie projects.
At the most recent Bra Making with Madalynne workshop, one of the students suggested that I make a shoppable list where you and they could purchase the tools used at the class. Genius! So, I’ve created such a list on Amazon where you can purchase my most used sewing supplies. Yes, I do make money off of every purchase, but this is more to help you out than make a buck. Profiting is simply an added bonus.
Click here to shop Madalynne favorite sew and bra making supplies!
Below are my top 5 – my essential supplies that I use day in and day out, and if I were to run out mid project, I’d stopped and get more.
Superior Threads Bottom Line Thread
A quick look at Superior Threads website and it’s obvious that they know their threads. They have almost every type for almost every kind of project – silk, cotton, metallic, fusible, water soluble and more. Their Bottom Line thread is a lint free, lightweight blending thread that becomes virtually “invisible” on light/pastel fabrics. It’s for sewists who don’t want their thread to show and/or don’t like monofilament thread, which has a sheen. I use it most often during bra workshops and when sewing a lot of samples of a light color at the same time. Students and myself don’t have to change the thread/bobbin when switching from blush pink to white or cream color fabric/elastics. This thread will blend in with all of them. It is available in 55 colors and can also be used in quilting, applique and for binding.
Odif’s 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive
This has become my best friend. I use it mostly to spray baste the main fabric to the lining prior to cutting. It’s the same concept as block fusing interfacing. Doing so has reduced the time it takes me to cut a pattern majorly. There’s no drying time, so you can spray, adhere and cut immediately. It’s also odorless and does not gum up on needles. My preferred brand is Odif’s 505. I’ve used Sulky in the past, but the spray was not as even. Buy the largest can. Like 1.5 or 2 ounce hair spray for traveling, you’ll go through it in a snap, and if you ordered it online, you’ll end up paying double for shipping. Be aware of the time between when you adhere to when you sew. I make sure to sew within a couple days after adhering. If I don’t, the glue wears off and the lining and main fabric become independent. It’s a real hassle to spray baste back together!
I also use spray adhesive during sewing. One example is when I attached hooks and eyes. I open the tape, spray a little inside, fit it over the back opening, press in place and then sew. Having it firmly secured before sewing helps with getting the topstitching straight and even. I have never achieved the same look if I used pins.
Woolly Nylon Thread
I’ve knew about woolly nylon thread for years, but was hesitant to start using it. As the name suggests, it is made from nylon fibers, which results in a stitch that stretches and recovers, provides more coverage and has a softer touch. That’s the perfect equation for lingerie, which needs to stretch as well as needs to be gentle on the skin. Although it can be used in a sewing machine, I have only used it in the lower loopers of my serger. It’s more expensive than polyester or cotton, but it’s worth it. My preferred brand is YLI, which you can purchase on Amazon here.
Sulky’s Water Soluble Stabilizer
Sulky’s stabilizer majorly helps with sewing and serging delicate fabrics. If your machine is eating your fabric when either sewing or serging, try placing this on top and then sewing. When you’re finished, run under water and voila! Or you can wait to finish your project and then wash the garment.
Duck Billed Scissors
I’m always using my duck billed scissors them! They are one of those tools that as soon as you discover, you never go back and you don’t understand how you did it before. I’m going to be brand loyal – I love Gingher! Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Totally. The paddle-shaped blade serves as a shield and a guide, which makes it easy to trim and grade seam allowances neatly. That’s super important in lingerie when even if lined, the seam allowances are still visible.
You can buy Gingher scissors at Joann’s when they have a 40% off sale on scissors.
Thanks for the heads up!
I LOVE my left-handed, duck billed scissors! And yes, they were expensive. My MIL gave me a a do-it-yourself birthday gift (money) and I splurged and bought them. Worth every penny. Havel’s has the best supply of scissors.
What is Havel’s? Oh, please fill me in!
I truly love my Rowenta tank iron and my pressing ham. I could not make my bras without them.
There can be an advantage to using RIT when dying notions. Some elastics are a poly/nylon blend and if you dye them with acid dyes half of it will stay white but use RIT and the poly part will at least stain a lighter color. Though if you can a high nylon content elastic it should dye all the way though. I got really excited when I got my new elastic shipment in and it dyed a deep even purple.
I recently got some elastic from Bravo Bella, which was gifted to me and I used on Nellie Warner, and it was 1/2 dyed. I actually thought it gave a cool effect!
Veronica Darling (@veronicadarling)
These look like art supplies to me, so maybe bra making is an artform in itself.
great tips! I do wish dyes were easier to source locally; I love Dharma too, but they cost a fortune to ship over the border :( That said, I would love to hear more about your dying process if you’re willing to share :) I’ve only tried dying a couple times with little success, but I suspect it’s because I was using the washing machine method, which can be tough to control in terms of temperature and water volume etc. and wouldn’t be feasible with smaller items like elastics and such.
Also I’ve been looking for duck-billed scissors forever!! LOL I desperately need them; the amount of times I’ve snipped into a project when trimming seams… :P
Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll make a note to post about my dye process.
Have you tried your local art stores? They might carry acid dyes. The ones around Philly do, but don’t have as many colors, which is why I purchase from Dharma.
Any recommendation for permanent spray adhesive? For applying appliques on finished pieces? Thanks!
I have been wondering what kind of thread to use for my bras and panties. Thanks for the tip!
What color do you use of the “Bottom Line Thread”?
I’ll order soon your mixted patterns ;-)
Great question! I use #623
Asides from purchasing a bra kit (I have all the other materials) where can we find a similar thick white elastic band for the bottom of the bra online? Any recommendations would be very much appreciated!!
I would check out Bra Makers Supply, Tailor Made Shop or Emerald Erin Sews for sourcing individual elastics by the yard.
Aside from tailor made shop and the kits, where do you source your fabric? Specifically the swimwear fabric.
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